Elementary school teacher Victoria C. wasn't sure if she would be able to maintain an additional role in her life as a bikini competitor. But where there's a will – and a 6 Pack Bag – there's a way! Find out how Victoria not only transformed her body, but also realized the importance of balance, and is now her healthiest and happiest self yet. Back in 2014, Victoria – like so many other people – was tired of looking in the mirror and feeling defeated. While getting dressed, every outfit would bring on another wave of dissatisfaction. She was sick of falling to the floor of her closet in frustration. Enough was enough. She walked downstairs and told her boyfriend she was getting serious about getting fit – and starting ASAP.
Victoria began her fitness transformation with an at-home program, but didn't see as much progress as she would have liked. After a few months, she decided to take a very important step forward and face her fear of gyms. "I walked in and right back out several times," Victoria stated. "I was scared to death of crowded gyms and had no clue what to do in the weight room." She decided to take advantage of the free trainer consultation and the rest was history: Victoria and the weight room were made for each other. The more research she did, the more she wanted to compete. Once her school district gave her the go-ahead, she hired an IFBB Pro to coach her and quickly got to work. Within 6 months, 5'1'' Victoria had completely changed her body – 139 pounds and 27% body fat had dropped to 115 and 13%, respectively – and successfully competed in her first show. Now she's hoping to get her pro card next summer! The road to her new lifestyle was not easy, though. When it comes to challenges, Victoria stated that she was then – and will continue to be – her own biggest roadblock, simply because it's so easy to get lost inside your own head when it comes to how you look and feel.
"I really wanted to love my body and be comfortable in it."
Being a teacher posed its own unique challenges, as well. For one thing, teachers don't have the opportunity to go to the bathroom as often as needed when drinking as much water as competition prep requires; similarly, there is no opportunity to stop and eat every 3 hours. "I had to get really creative and cash in some favors for bathroom and meal breaks during the work day," Victoria said. Victoria's boyfriend Tony was and continues to be a huge inspiration to her. "We learned how to meal prep together. When my energy was low, he would do it for me," Victoria added. Throughout her entire time spent prepping for competition, Tony was there to encourage her and remind her of her goal. In fact, he's the one who gave her a 6 Pack Bag as a gift for their anniversary – and she did the same for him. Her bag was absolutely critical to her fitness transformation, especially with her career, which requires many hours spent planning lessons, preparing for the day, and grading papers – much longer than the school day of the student.
"There are days where I am really unsatisfied with my progress and feel defeated. Then there are days where I feel like a total badass. You just have to keep reminding yourself that it's day by day – one workout/meal at a time."
Victoria wanted to be an example for her students, to prove that even the impossible can be possible if you push yourself and believe that you can do it. "I wanted to set a goal, and conquer it," she elaborated. After all, she teaches them that when they don't let anything get in their way, they are unstoppable.
"Being able to carry a bag that allows me to work long hours and stick to my goals is great. I don't have to worry about missing a meal or forgetting my shake. It all fits in my 6 Pack Bag!"
Victoria has also combined her newfound love of health and fitness with a personal appreciation for the armed forces – both of her brothers have served, and her boyfriend is currently in the service – by working as an ambassador for an organization called Military Muscle, which produces fitness clothing and accessories. A division called the Military Muscle Foundation further uses fitness events as a platform to provide "rehabilitation of the mind, body, and soul" and raise awareness of combat issues relating to deployments, PTSD, and suicide.
"Our motto in class is 'Embrace the struggle – it produces champions!' I wanted to be that champion."
Now, Victoria is focused on perfecting the balance in life between her career as a special education teacher; her health, fitness, and competition goals; and her social and family life. To help her stay on track of her nutrition no matter how busy her day gets, Victoria rocks a lovely lime green and grey Innovator 300 from our original line of Meal Management Bags. Explore even more popular styles to help you jumpstart your own badass transformation in our Women's Collection of gym totes and gym bags. As always, find even more motivational stories in our Transformations Series.
"Being a part of Military Muscle has allowed me to use my fitness to spread the word about helping those brothers and sisters in arms through their battles."